Have you ever wondered why gold is such a valuable currency? It boils down to a few reasons: it doesn’t corrode or react easily with other substances; it’s rare but not too rare; it melts at a high enough temperature to be stable but not so high as to be unworkable; and it is an identifiable color. Most importantly, it is valuable because we agree it is.
When Jesus chastises the temple officials, whom he calls “blind guides” because they teach the faith without comprehending it, he says they value oaths made on the gold in the temple more than oaths made on the temple itself. He asks: “[W]hich is greater, the gold or the sanctuary that has made the gold sacred?” (Matt 23:17). Knowingly or not, these leaders had agreed on what they valued most, and they chose poorly.
Our time and energy are our most precious currency, each minute a coin we choose to spend in some way. What have we agreed deserves our investment? The treasures we gather up in life are only valuable if they are made sacred by the love and faith surrounding them. If our money doesn’t go toward helping those in need, if our home is not open to those seeking shelter, if our larders are locked away from the hungry … of what value are they? If their only value is in the having, then we are like dragons afraid to leave our cave because the world might sneak in and steal our hoard. Gold is nothing but a heavy, beautiful shackle until we bring our treasure to the temple where it can be converted to the limitless currency of love. We must spend it to make more.
True agape love does not corrode and is not eroded by circumstance. It is rare, but not so rare we can’t mine it within ourselves. It is malleable enough to suit many needs, but stable enough to be reliable. People know it when they see it. Perhaps the whole world does not agree on its value, but within the temple of Christ’s body, it ransoms the world.
Comfort: Our treasure is not measured by what we keep, but by what we give away.
Challenge: If you don’t already do so, consider pledging a small monthly amount to a charity of your choice (other than church).